Lear Accelerates Pace of Share Repurchase Program and Increases Cash Dividend by 21%
Lear Corporation (NYSE: LEA), a leading global supplier of automotive seating and electrical distribution systems, today announced that its Board of Directors has authorized Lear's management to increase the pace of its $1 billion share repurchase program to $600 million during 2013. In addition, the Board increased the quarterly cash dividend on the Company's common stock by 21% to $0.17 per share, up from $0.14 per share. The dividend is payable on March 20, 2013 to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 1, 2013.
With the increased pace of stock purchases, the Company now anticipates that the current share buyback program will be completed by no later than the end of 2014. The Company may implement its share repurchases utilizing a variety of methods including open market purchases, accelerated stock repurchase programs and structured repurchase transactions. Share repurchases are subject to the Company's alternative uses of capital and prevailing financial and market conditions.
"Lear's Board of Directors remains committed to maximizing shareholder value. The Board believes this goal is best achieved by balancing continued investments in our business, maintaining a strong and flexible balance sheet and returning excess cash to shareholders. Today's actions are consistent with input we have received from our shareholders," said Henry D. G. Wallace, Lear's Non-Executive Chairman.
"We believe increasing our dividend and accelerating the pace of our share repurchases at a time when our shares are undervalued and the longer term outlook for our business is positive will drive increasing shareholder value," said Matt Simoncini, Lear President and Chief Executive Officer.
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